Friday, September 20, 2013

Light on Lucrezia (1958)

Light on Lucrezia: A Novel of the Borgias. Jean Plaidy. 1958/2011. Crown. 384 pages. [Source: Bought]

Light on Lucrezia is the sequel to Madonna on the Seven Hills. The novel opens with the moody Lucrezia preparing for her second marriage. The marriage has been arranged for her by her father, the Pope. She happens to be marrying Sanchia's brother, Alfonso. (Sanchia is her sister-in-law.) The two are a great couple; however, Lucrezia isn't to be allowed her happily ever after for politics and family interfere once again. After her husband's murder, Lucrezia's life is a bit of a mess. A third marriage is arranged after a time, but, it's less than ideal. At least as depicted by Plaidy! But though Lucrezia's fate is the happiest of the Borgia family, that really is not saying much considering what happens...

Reading Light On Lucrezia is like suffering through the last half of Gone With The Wind. There are highlights, of course, but overall it just gets more depressing and hopeless with every single chapter until the dreariest of endings. Is the ending inevitable? Sure. It is (very loosely) based on history. Cesare's fate is set in stone. And Lucrezia's childbearing misfortunes are realistic enough, but it was so very sad to read of all the miscarriages and the babies that died so very young. 

Madonna of the Seven Hills and Light on Lucrezia have recently been published as one novel. Plaidy's depiction of the Borgias is interesting. They have their fascinating-but-troubling moments to shine. And the first novel, at least, had some lightness and frivolity to it. I think Plaidy's characterization is better than say, The Borgia Bride, but not as wonderful as Blood and Beauty.  I really want Sarah Dunant to write another Borgia novel!!!

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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